I am having an identity crisis of sorts. When I married, I added my husband’s last name to my existing name — no hyphen, just an extra surname tacked on for heft and length. My name now barely manages to fit onto my driver’s license (a situation that makes me feel almost like a British royal).

This suited me for several reasons. For one, I would have been annoyed to change my name on every credit and membership card in my wallet. Now, it turns out, I need to make the change on one of them if I want to get mileage credit for Delta flights.

When I booked the family’s Thanksgiving flight last week (yes, it is already that time), the Delta site would not let me book under the name I’ve always used — the one that is on my SkyMiles account, the one that lacks my husband’s surname, Kerri Westenberg. When I entered my SkyMiles number in order to get the mileage credit for the flight, red type popped up. It screamed, in effect, that my name did not correspond with the “Secure Flight information” the airline has on file. “The passenger name is required to be the same as the Secure Flight full name provided to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) when booking reservations.” Secure Flight is a TSA pre-screening program that’s been in place since 2009, so why is it an obstacle now?

Fortunately, the fix is simple: I fax a copy of my marriage license to Delta SkyMiles customer support (1-404-773-1945), along with a cover letter asking them to change the name on my SkyMiles account.

There is another perk, beyond mileage credit. I won’t have to worry at airport security when I remember, for the first time since booking, that my name on the ticket doesn’t correspond exactly to my ID. Whew. Another identity crisis averted.


Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com, and follow her on Twitter @kerriwestenberg.